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January 3, 2023 12:33 pm

Disney+ Releases First Look of New Miniseries About Dutch Secretary Who Hid Anne Frank’s Family During Holocaust


avatar by Shiryn Ghermezian

The Frank, van Pels and Gies families observing Chanukkah while in hiding during World War II in a scene from “A Small Light.” Photo: National Geographic for Disney/Dusan Martincek

Disney+ recently revealed the first image from its upcoming limited series A Small Light, based on the true story of Miep Gies, the Dutch secretary of Otto Frank, Anne Frank’s father. Gies helped hide the Jewish family during the Holocaust and saved Anne Frank’s now famous diary.

In the image, released during Chanukkah, the Frank family celebrates the Festival of Lights, complete with a lit menorah, while hiding in a secret annex during World War II. They are celebrating alongside the van Pels family and Fritz Pfeffer, who hid with them in the secret annex, and Gies and her husband Jan.

British Jewish actress Bel Powley will play Miep, Jewish actor Liev Schrieber will star as Otto and Billie Boullet will take on the role of the young diarist, Anne. The cast also includes Amira Casar, Ashley Brooke and Rudi Goodman. The eight-episode series from National Geographic and ABC Signature in partnership with Keshet Studios will stream exclusively on Disney+ later this year, although a set release date has yet to be announced.

The limited series tells the story of Miep, a 20-something-year-old who did not hesitate when her boss asked her to hide him and his family from the Nazis in Amsterdam during the Holocaust. For two years, Miep, Jan and several others risked their lives to protect the eight people hiding in the secret annex.

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Miep also found Anne’s diary after the Nazis arrested the Frank family and held onto it so that she could later return it to Otto, who was the only member of his family to survive the Holocaust. The series’ title references a quote from Miep, who said: “I don’t like being called a hero because no one should ever think you have to be special to help others. Even an ordinary secretary or a housewife or a teenager can turn on a small light in a dark room.” She died in 2010 at the age of 100.

Joan Rater and Tony Phelan from ABC’s Grey’s Anatomy serve as showrunners for the new series and and Emmy-nominated executive producer Susanna Fogel (The Flight Attendant) directs multiple episodes, including the pilot.

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